Category Archives: Health Care

Happy Birthday Health Care Reform

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law one year ago today, March 23, 2010.  The GOP may be campaigning to “repeal” and “replace” it … but thus far, they’ve offered up absolutely nothing of any substance whatsoever with which to replace provisions like:

  • Small Businesses receive a tax credit when providing insurance
  • Health coverage cannot be arbitrarily cancelled if you become sick
  • (Newborn) Children cannot be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition
  • Children up to age 26 can stay on parent’s health plan
  • No annual/lifetime limits on health coverage (Annual limits are phased out over 3 years)
  • Key preventive services will be available without a deductible or co-pay
  • Patients have a right to choose their own doctor
  • Options are improved for appealing insurance companies’ decisions
  • Restrictions on emergency room care are ended

In this video, HHS Secretary Sebelius explains that we’ve begun to usher in a new era, where patients – not insurance companies – are in charge of their health care. And Americans are enjoying greater protections, new freedoms, and lower costs.


Steny Hoyer on HCR Anniversary

Hoyer Statement on One Year Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding the one year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, which is tomorrow, March 23:

A year ago this week, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, giving families—not insurance companies—the freedom to control their own health care choices. Just a year after it became law, the Affordable Care Act is making it easier for small businesses to cover their employees, reforms in the law are taking important steps to slow the growth of health care costs, and the law is stopping the worst insurance company abuses, including making it illegal to deny care to children because of a pre-existing condition.

Thanks to this law, young people under the age of 26 are already able to stay on their parents’ insurance plans. The law is also helping nearly 4 million seniors across the nation—including 54,723 Maryland seniors— cover the cost of prescription drugs. Seniors in the Medicare Part D coverage gap, known as the “donut hole,” now receive an 50% discount on brand name drugs – and thanks to the Affordable Care Act, those discounts will increase until the donut hole is eliminated completely.

One year later, we have given American families new patient protections and greater freedoms. But if Republicans had their way, they would repeal the law and take away these newfound freedoms. We cannot roll back that progress. And we cannot go back to the days when insurance companies were in charge.”

Preventing Maternal Deaths

Did you know that, in the last year, the United States slipped from 41st to 50th place for the number of women whose deaths are due to  pregnancy-related complications?  Even more disturbing is that nothing is being done to study the causes of maternal deaths during pregnancy.

Earlier this month, Rep. John Conyers [D-MI14] introduced HR894,the Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2011.  This proposed legislation would provide grant funding for States to establish Maternal Mortality Review Committees to examine pregnancy-related deaths and to identify ways to reduce maternal mortality. The legislation would also help to eliminate disparities in health care, risks, and outcomes.

In introducing HR894, Rep. Conyers stated, “In the United States, more than two women die every day from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.  The aggregate pregnancy-related mortality ratio in the United States was 14.5 per 100,000 live births from 1998 through 2005, higher than the previous 20 years.  Additionally, African American women are nearly four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women.”

In a post on Huffington Post by Christy Turlington:

“The Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2011, as a condition of receiving grants, will require States to do the following:

  1. Require health professional and facilities to report all pregnancy-related deaths.
  2. Investigate and develop case findings and summaries for maternal deaths.
  3. Establish review committees with OB-GYNs, midwives, nurses, social workers, health care facility representatives, members of affected communities, and other relevant stakeholders to recommend prevention strategies.
  4. Disseminate findings and recommendations.

We need reliable data on maternal deaths because without it, we are unable to respond to what is clearly a human rights crisis. The Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2011 is a step towards reducing the needless loss of women’s lives in the US and preventing the complications that have risen steadily in recent decades.

Please encourage your representatives to contact Representative John Conyers to become a co-sponsor of the Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2011 in the 112th Congress.”

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we need to act now so that this can be a day of celebration for everyone. Please take the time to ask your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 894 and work diligently toward its passage.

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